The Aviation Minister, Hon. Cecelia Abenaa Dapaah has reiterated Government’s plan of abolishing 17.5% tax on domestic Air transport in the 2017 budget statement, is a way of doing everything possible to establish a national airline which would also help create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
The Minister of Aviation shared this overwhelming revelation on Monday, when officials of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), paid a courtesy call on the government to partner in their second Aviation conference of Sustainable Development of Airlines in Africa, which is being host in Ghana
According to her, government has started initiatives which will ensure the safety and security of the country’s airspace that would meet international standards and also make Ghana the hub of air transport in the West African Sub-region.
The second aviation conference, which begins today, 28th March,2017, would bring together stakeholders and Aviation think tanks together under one umbrella to discuss and adopt strategies to develop the air transport sector in Africa.
Hon. Abenaa Dapaah said, without domestic air transport it would be difficult to strengthen the African integration, so she therefore called for measures to rejuvenate the 27 airlines that had collapsed on the continent.
“Government would continue to support air transport development by providing the necessary infrastructure and human resource towards that cause, and so, experts will soon come in to validate all the initiatives government has undertaken so that passengers travel in safety and comfort “. The Minister assured.
Hon. Cecelia Dapaah therefore commended the President of ICAO for being the first African to occupy that position in the history of the Organization, describing him as a visionary leader who wanted the best for Africa and the rest of the world.
On his part, President ICAO, Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu commended the Government for establishing a separate ministry for civil aviation, adding that it showed the importance government attached to the sector and expressed optimism that Ghana would play a leadership role in the aviation industry.
He said the development of the aviation industry was linked to the socio-economic development of every country, saying; ‘‘Ghana is a good story we want to tell to the world so I encourage you to do more in the air transport sector’’.
Currently, he said, there were 30 million flights per day involving 33 billion passengers and that most of the flights were from Latin America, Asia and Europe with Africa accounting for only four per cent.
The ICAO which is a United Nations specialised agency dedicated to the administration of International Air navigation, has envisioned to increase the number of flights from 30 to 60 million in the next 15 years and, therefore, urged African countries to position themselves to take advantage of the intended increase to boost their economies.
Dr. Aliu also commended the Government for enhancing the infrastructure at the country’s airport and called for the strengthening of security to ensure the safety of passengers.
By: Blessing Roselyn Boateng